A terrified fox cub flees a pack of hounds from a hunt popular with the royals.

The video footage shows dogs from the Duke Of Beaufort’s Hunt – a favourite of Prince Charles and Prince William.

The fox is shown running for its life and jumping through a barbed-wire fence, shredding its fur.

Princes Charles, below, and William were once regulars at the annual Boxing Day meeting of the hunt.

Tonight, a spokesman for the Hunt denied any wrongdoing and said it operated within the law.

The incident on Hawkesbury Common, Glos, on October 28 was filmed by the League Against Cruel Sports who reported the incident to police.

The fox is filmed running for its life and being forced to jump through a barbed wire fence
The fox is filmed running for its life and being forced to jump through a barbed wire fence

Hunting a wild mammal with dogs became illegal under the Hunting Act in 2005. The law says hounds can be used only to follow a scent and not to kill a fox.

However, if there was no intention to hunt a fox which suddenly crosses their path, no offence has been committed – which the Hunt says happened here.

The hounds pick up a trail laid across the land by workers dragging a piece of cloth soaked in fox’s urine.

If they come across a wild fox by chance they must be called off by the hunters.

The incident on Hawkesbury Common, Glos, on October 28 was filmed by the League Against Cruel Sports
The incident on Hawkesbury Common, Glos, on October 28 was filmed by the League Against Cruel Sports

But whether that happened here was not clear in the footage which has been handed to Avon and Somerset Police.

League Against Cruel Sports director of campaigns, Chris Luffingham, told the Daily Star Sunday: “This footage clearly shows that fox hunting is still taking place in the English countryside despite being banned 15 years ago.”

He also alleged: “It shows that the trail hunting excuse being used by hunts is a smokescreen to cover up the chasing and killing of foxes.

Three professional investigators ­followed the hunt throughout the day to monitor its activities
Three professional investigators ­followed the hunt throughout the day to monitor its activities

“If trail hunting was real, foxes wouldn’t be pursued by baying hounds.”

But the Hunt spokesman hit back, saying: “If the hounds ever pursue a wild mammal, the professional members of hunt staff stop the hounds as soon as possible and return to trail hunting, which is what happened on this occasion.

“The edited footage does not show that the hounds were stopped shortly after this video clip ends.”

Prince Charles was once aregular at the Boxing Day meeting of the Duke of Beaufort's Hunt

Three investigators ­followed the Hunt throughout the day.

Mr Luffingham went on: “Fox hunting is a cruel bloodsport which involves hunt hounds chasing and literally tearing
apart the body of the live fox when they catch it.

“Landowners such as the Government and the National Trust, which license trail hunting on their land, need to call an end to this barbaric behaviour.”

It is not known what happened to the cub shown in the footage.